Chris Jeter, father of Chase Jeter: It was a really nice trip for us. We both enjoyed it.
There were a number of reports from the camp that the post guys were really getting after one another…
Yes, they were. Chase did really well and was battling hard. He felt good on offense and defense, and he felt that he rebounded very well. He was also running the court.
As a parent and former player, what's it like seeing your son both compete and be recruited at the highest levels?
It's great, I think we tried to put Chase in the right positions since he was a very little kid, and we knew he was going to be a special person. His work ethic, dedication to the game and to his academics.
How does your previous playing experience inform how you advise Chase in his development and his recruitment?
It's pretty easy, Chase is going through the process and I try to help him think through the schools he's considering and when it's time to pick those Top 10 or Top 5 schools for him as far as what to look at with academics, basketball, how many kids should the team have on the depth chart, stuff like that.
Did you ever think his recruitment would progress to this point when he first started playing?
I think at this point, I'm very happy for Chase, with all the colleges recruiting him with schools like Duke, UCLA, USC, the Michigan's, Kansas, UNLV are coming in and offering him scholarships. Coach K visited recently, and thatwas a very good conversation that Chase and Coach K had, as well as the conversation that we had with him and his mom as well. It was really good.
Can you summarize Coach K's message(s)?
It was good, Coach K was very impressed. I think the first thing was with Chase's maturity, he just turned 16 on September 19th, that really amazes a lot of coaches because at this point, guys are going into their junior years at either 17 or 18 years old, he really enjoyed watching Chase workout, he said Chase has a basketball player's body, that he walks just like a basketball player. We talked about what position he would play if he decided to go to Duke, Coach K said he would be able to play the 3, 4 and 5 and looking down the road, his body size and once he puts that natural muscle weight on, it's been really good.
From your perspective, what's the best playing style and position for Chase to play in college?
I think Chase is going to be a 3 or a 4 in college. He can face the basket or with his back to it, he's going to be tough, once he gets that weight on, maybe gets to 235 or 240, he's going to be unstoppable.
Chase plays alongside another really talented big at Bishop Gorman with Stephen Zimmerman, is that a model you guys are hoping to continue into college?
I think that, I really enjoy the boys playing together in high school, it's a rarity you see in high school with a 6-foot-10 and 7-foot players playing together, but they both have different strengths. We're looking at different schools and I'm pretty sure that Stephen is looking at different schools as well, I don't think we'll be going to the same schools, I think we'll be at different schools.
It sounded like the conversation touched on a variety of areas—were you excited about what you heard?
I was very pleased with the conversation that we had, like we said, I played against Coach K in the 1990s, his philosophy is that he doesn't over-recruit, when he says he's only recruiting 3 juniors, and Chase being one of those juniors, that's pretty exciting to hear. Again, the focus we have with Chase with Coach K's philosophy is Chase has to believe in Coach K and that's the relationship, so they have to believe in each other, once that happens, then they start the relationship. We're really happy to have the opportunity to talk to Coach K. We realize he's an ordinary person, an ordinary man. I think that's, a lot of people have, even I had for awhile, we talked about his life and we talked about some things that we had heard and obviously they were not true and he assured me on that. We're very happy with the process thus far and Chase and I, he's going to wait until his summer year, then we're going to start whittling down these offers he's gotten so far because it's about the quality of the offers, not the quantity, so we look at schools like Michigan and Duke and UCLA and UNLV and Kansas, Stanford, Harvard, those are all great schools. He's going to have a lot on his plate come the summertime to try and break that down to 5 before his senior year so he can figure out where he wants to take his visits to and me and his mom are going to support him no matter where he decides to go.
Is it really important in your estimation that Chase have visited a school unofficially in order to consider them for an official visit?
Oh definitely, I think that should go for all student-athletes that they see what the fanfare is like, that you see what the community of kids is like at the schools. We'll definitely hit Michigan this year, UCLA, UNLV on unofficial, we'll definitely visit Duke unofficially, Kansas as well so that Chase that way has an idea before he starts the official visit process with his top 5 schools.
Are there any visits that are actively in the planning process at present?
We talked to Michigan of course, and of course who wouldn't love to share in that fanfare of all the 100,000 fans at the football game and all that. We're also going to visit Arizona in December for sure, UCLA probably in the next couple of weeks. We talked to Coach Beilein at Michigan and we're going to try and come up there during the fall season that way they have more time to spend with Chase and so that they can show us around if the players aren't too busy. UCLA, USC are coming around too, and probably Stanford is another that we'll look at.
You had mentioned Duke and Kansas as possible visit locations as well but it doesn't sound like anything is being planned at present, is that by design so you can figure out what the potential best time is for you guys to visit them?
We're just looking at what's the best time with that, obviously with unofficial, we have to be very selective because obviously myself and his mom, we're paying for all that stuff and it's getting to be expensive, so we like everything so far, we like all the schools that are actively recruiting Chase and offering him scholarships, and like we said, it's about the quality with these schools and every single one is quality when it comes to basketball and academics.
Did Coach K discuss anything about a potential offer in the future for Chase?
Oh yeah definitely, one thing he did say is that he wouldn't be down here if he wasn't serious about Chase and if Chase wasn't serious about them. One of the questions he did ask Chase was does he have an interest in Duke and Chase said yes he does, which is always good to hear. The relationship with him will build over the years which will be good, Coach K is one of those men, one of those coaches who really believes in his kids, and the relationship he has with the kids is awesome. I'm not saying this is where Chase is going to go, but we really enjoyed the conversation with Coach K. Again, with Dave Rice and Coach Alford and Coach Beilein, we have really good conversations with all the coaches, it's going to be hard, it's going to be a very hard decision for Chase once he comes down to his Top 10 or Top 5 schools.
Had you guys been already building a relationship with Coach K before this meeting with him at the school?
Actually no, I had talked to the assistant coach, Wojo a few times on the telephone and we had met in person too, so this was actually my first time meeting Coach K and talking with him. I have his number and Chase has his number, and he wanted Chase to give him a call after the USA Camp is over that Chase is attending to give him an impression of how well Chase did at the camp.
Kansas offered Chase recently, is that correct?
Yes, that's correct, Kansas has offered that's another big time school, it's quality, you can't beat the number of scholarship offers that he has right now, especially from the academic and athletic institutions recruiting him, it's going to be very hard. We'll sit him down and line up where he's going to be, obviously we don't want him to be the #4 or #5 big man so that that way his future will be set. I think all the schools will benefit from having Chase and I think Chase will benefit from those types of people as well.
Looks like the depth charts are something you are looking at, is that a big part of the consideration?
Oh of course, it has to be a big part of the consideration because you want to see your kid play and a lot of these schools, we're looking for schools that are not going to over-recruit because if you are going to recruit 5 or 6 four or five guys, we'd have to look at where does Chase fit in in the scheme of things ? if Chase is going to be #4 or 5 on the depth chart, that's not a good fit for Chase.
Are you guys tracking what the programs's track record is with development of big guys in the past?
We are really looking at that right now, most of the kids right now coming in as freshman will be juniors/seniors by the time Chase enters college as a freshman, so it's really important to see who the schools are bringing in now that's going to be in the same position that Chase will be in.
Are there any schools that haven't recruited Chase as much right now that you are hoping to hear from in the future?
You know I think every school that Chase is interested in that he hoped would recruit him has come about in the recruiting process, there's a lot of schools out there recruiting people like the Cal-Berkeley's or the Pepperdine's and there are other schools that haven't started the recruiting process as much with Chase. I don't think Kentucky has gotten too involved yet, but I think in the next year or so they are going to get very interested in Chase.
How do you think it affects Chase's recruiting if Kentucky does get involved more heavily in his recruitment?
We'll look at the whole program again, who is coming into the program, how he fits them, I know Big Zimm (Stephen Zimmerman) is very into Kentucky and Coach Calipari, so we'll see what happens. I think it's time for the two boys who have been great friends over the years, I do think Chase has been in his shadow the last couple of years so I think now it's time for Chase to take a couple of steps and we'll see what happens.
If the recruitment from Coach results in an offer, what would the reaction be in your opinion?
Oh, it's a big deal, I mean it's a really big deal. Again, I mean, Coach K is a legendary coach, I think everybody knows that and I think the kids that play for him, they usually stay 3 or 4 years and there's a reason why they do that, which is it isn't just about basketball with him, it's about the whole person, I just really enjoy that, and it's one of the schools that Chase is interested in. Duke is a really good school and Coach K is a real mentor to the kids, his military past at West Point, he's a very articulate man and we really enjoyed the conversation. I don't think it's a matter of if or when, I know they are, I mean, that was pretty much our conversation. It's going to be up to Chase to figure out if he wants to go to Duke or go to Michigan or to UCLA or to any of these other schools. We're very happy with the offers this far and again, it's all about the quality, not the quantity with these schools. It's great, it's really great for me and his mom to enjoy the process at this point, she's a heck of a person, a mom in Chase's life and she's going to be a big part of the decision of where Chase goes to school and that will definitely include the academic side of it as well. It's going to be good for us, but more importantly it's going to be good for Chase. I'm able to live vicariously through Chase, but I'm an old dude now, where Chase wants to go to school at is where Chase is going to go to school. Wherever he goes, whether it's Duke or Michigan or UCLA or USC or wherever, we're fine with that.